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Wednesday , November 14 2018
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Tag Archives: william beaumont

WBAMC ‘Mystery Shopper’ Aims to Gauge Patient Experience

William Beaumont Army Medical Center’s Patient Assistance Office recently kicked off a program to measure quality of outpatient encounters and provide immediate feedback to providers, clinics and other hospital staff.

The program, similar to retail-industry mystery shopper programs, entails patient advocates randomly questioning consenting patients who have recently completed a medical appointment at any of WBAMC’s primary care or specialty care clinics.

“The intent is to give patients the opportunity to give us (immediate) feedback of their experience, positive or negative,” said Thomas O’Dea, patient advocate, WBAMC. “From the beginning of their appointment to the end, we want to know what they thought.”

Patients have always had an opportunity to provide feedback concerning their experiences through traditional means such as Interactive Customer Evaluations (ICE) comments and the Military Health System’s recently launched Joint Outpatient Experience Survey (JOES). Outpatients can expect a JOES survey a few days after appointments and may return the survey via mail or electronically.

In addition to allowing patients to provide instant feedback, the mystery shopper program allows for WBAMC patient advocates to correct or address concerns on the spot.

“We want (patient’s) information, their name, phone number, so that if we do get a negative feedback we can address the situation and that’s where we want to go with it, we want to be able to reach back to (the patient),” said O’Dea. “It’s to add that personal factor to (patient’s experience), and the survey can provide us with a lot of good information, such as: are we doing the right thing, are we becoming complacent, that feedback is valuable overall for the organization as it carries over to JOES.”

The Military Health System’s patient satisfaction survey, JOES, assesses outpatient beneficiary experiences at Military Treatment Facilities (MTFs) allowing the MHS to compare results to the civilian benchmarks. Patient advocates plan to launch a similar mystery shopper program directed at inpatient experiences to supplement the TRICARE Inpatient Satisfaction Survey (TRISS), aimed at gauging inpatient experiences.

Providing high-satisfaction rated feedback on surveys like JOES and TRISS also impact medical operations directly through monetary incentives for increased medical resources such as staff and equipment as well as patient amenities such as recent mobile device charging stations available in select wait rooms.

For patients such as Sgt. Emmanuel Rivera, customer service is essential to meeting objectives.

“It’s not about doing the job faster but improving customer service,” said Rivera, a culinary specialist with 1st Battalion, 36th Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division. “Good customer service helps keep customers.”

As an employee in the food service industry, guest relations are essential to daily operations for Rivera, who says he’d prefer to give instant feedback on his experience over waiting for a survey.

According to O’Dea, patients can provide feedback on any part of their WBAMC experience, from the first interaction while making an appointment to picking up any prescribed medications at pharmacies.

“It begins with first interaction with our facility which could be the appointment line, whether patients couldn’t get through (to schedule an appointment) or if there’s a certain number that is not working. We’ll alert those who can fix it,” said O’Dea. “It’s the whole experience, until they finish. We’re excited about it. We care about your experience and we care about our facility.”

Primary care clinics throughout the WBAMC footprint will also participate in mystery shopper surveys. For more information, contact WBAMC the Patient Assistance Office at 915-742-2692.

Author: Marcy Sanchez –  William Beaumont Army Medical Center Public Affairs Office 

Pediatrics After-Hours Clinic Coming to William Beaumont AMC

The Women’s and Children’s Health Services will initiate a Pediatrics After-Hours Clinic at William Beaumont Army Medical Center on June 20.

“We’re standing up the Pediatrics After-Hours Clinic with the intent to see sick children who are unable to be seen at the Spc. Hugo V. Mendoza Soldier Family Care Center during the normal duty day,” said Dr. Stacey Frazier, chief of inpatient pediatrics, WBAMC. “It’s an overflow mechanism for patients who need same-day care or want to be seen somewhere other than the emergency room.”

Children will be scheduled for acute care needs Monday – Friday from 4:30 – 8 p.m. Patient evaluations will be appointment-based; parents should call central appointments at 915-742-CARE (2273) before 4:30 p.m. to schedule a same-day appointment with the clinic.

Walk-in appointments will not be available, to maximize patient convenience while minimizing patient wait times.

Coughs, fevers, runny noses and rashes are a few examples of appropriate patient issues for the clinic. Frazier also added that children who have been sent home from school or daycare that need doctor’s permission to return may also be seen at the clinic.

“The clinic is intended for same day issues only, not for routine care,” said Frazier, a native of Las Cruces, New Mexico. “If it’s an emergency need, you still need to go to the emergency room.”

The pilot will run initially for 90 days. Depending on utilization, the program may be continued.

Benefits of the program include increased access to care for pediatric same-day needs and shifting appropriate non-emergent patients from the emergency room to the clinic.

Author:  Marcy Sanchez  – William Beaumont Army Medical Center Public Affairs Office

William Beaumont AMC First to Operate with Latest Robotic Surgical System in DoD

William Beaumont Army Medical Center performed its first robotic minimally-invasive surgery with the daVinci Xi surgical system on May 2.

The robotic surgical system was recently acquired by WBAMC and is the most up-to-date robotic surgical system available in the health care field. The surgical system will be capable for use in: cardiac, colorectal, general, metabolic, gynecologic, head and neck, thoracic and urologic surgeries.

“Integration of a robotic surgical program to WBAMC is a very exciting venture,” said Maj. Jennifer Orr, chief, department of women’s and children’s services, WBAMC. “It supports our goal of providing safe, comprehensive, and top-notch care to our soldiers and dependents, while optimizing medical readiness and return to duty.”

Hospital stays and recovery times are minimized due to the surgical system’s small incisions, less than 1 cm length, which allow articulating instruments to enter. The instruments are capable of bending and rotating far greater than the human wrist.

wbamDaVinci“We can now offer both complex and routine procedures through a few small incisions, offering less blood loss, shorter hospital stay, and ultimately a faster recovery for our beneficiaries,” said Orr. “Previously, limitations of laparoscopic surgery, such as poor visualization and range of motion, could result in conversion to an open procedure.”

The surgical system is outfitted with a high-definition 3D imaging system which displays a clear and magnified view of the surgical site for surgeons. The image system also contains two surgeon-operated controllers.

While the robotic surgical system is new to WBAMC, 15 surgeons at the hospital are already trained in the robotic surgical approach, including three proctors. Surgeons complete a rigorous training process before being certified to operate with the surgical robotic system.

“WBAMC Surgeons have been using external facilities to perform the procedures,” said Orr. “Now we’ll be able to keep (WBAMC) patients here and offer facility continuity.”

According to Orr, who led the development of the robotic program at WBAMC, acquisition of the robotic system will allow WBAMC to recapture over 300 cases per year which were being performed elsewhere.

System capabilities range from bariatric surgeries and routine surgical cases to complex cancer cases for both adult and pediatric patients. The four-armed surgical system is optimized for highly complex, multi-quadrant surgeries as well as single-quadrant surgeries.

“We have a dedicated robotics team that is well trained and motivated for success,” said Orr. “In addition, we have a variety of board-certified, extremely capable and dedicated surgeons who are very excited that they can now provide this service to their patients within the walls of WBAMC.”

The first surgery performed by the surgical system was a successful hysterectomy by OB-GYN physicians.

“This is a major accomplishment and advancement for (WBAMC),” said Orr. “Acquisition of a robotic surgical system is a testament to our commitment to provide patients with the newest technology and treatment options available.”

William Beaumont Army Medical Center provides innovative, life-saving care to the largest power projection platform in the Army in support of any mission, anytime, anywhere while cultivating talented medical professionals into tomorrow’s medical leaders through education and cutting-edge research, making WBAMC the flagship of Army Medicine.

Author: Marcy Sanchez  – William Beaumont Army Medical Center Public Affairs Office